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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Ah Por

Ah Por is an 82 year old Hakka immigrant from China. She has now lived in Singapore for over 40 years.
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I went to Ah Por's place to massage my neck. All the late nights and stress had resulted in my chronic neck pain that needs regular fixing. At 82 years old, Ah Por's hands are far stronger than all the other young masseuse I have been to in Singapore. She told me that she has been practising Qi Gong since the age of 10. No wonder! Her eyes are extremely alert, and she is also physically and mentally very agile. Ah Por's massage was effective, but also very painful!!! Only go to Ah Por if you can bear the pain!
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Ah Por is calm and unhurried. There is a sense of peace and serenity with her. After the massage, she asked me to rest on the massage table and to get up only when I was ready. Then as I sat on her sofa after getting up, she even pulled a low stool for me to rest my feet. I feel a little embarrased with that.
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As I sat down, I noticed there were some plastic bottles of solution. I asked whether they were massage oil, and she told me that they were solutions to apply on the head for hair growth. It is a family secret formula. Before I knew it, Ah Por was already applying them on my hair. She normally retails them at S$10 each bottle, but for me, it is free! She gave me a bottle as a gift.
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Then, it was time to leave. I asked how much the massage costs and she replied that it was S$12. Huh? Only S$12!!! I decided to pay her more and also told her that I would buy the bottle of hair lotion she gave me. To my amazement, she refused to accept money for the hair lotion. She insisted it was a gift for me. Then, she also refused to accept extra payment or tips. She said, she has enough money to eat and live and doesn't need more. Even till the end, because of the lack of small change, she told me that she owed me S$1 and that she will put that into account for my next massage session.
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I feel so inspired by Ah Por. She is so contented with life. Though her tiny 3 room apartment is spartan and old, she refused to accept any more money. And she is so caring to the people she serves. Perhaps that is her secret to a healthy old age. One that serves others and ask for only enough to live on.

3 comments:

hokoch said...

Nice and inspiring story. Thank for the sharing.

I find the story inspiring because I have been polluted.

jupilier said...

Hokoch
Aren't we all? :)

Jenny Ryan said...

Wow! What I great story-thanks for sharing :)